At its Jan. 25 meeting, the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS)council relinquished its bid to host the International Engineering Competition (IEC) and set dates for their upcoming election. In addition, they heard a presentation from the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU) Vice-President (VP) Finance, Zacheriah Houston, on the SSMU base fee increase special referendum question.
EUS not hosting upcoming engineering competition
The EUS relinquished its bid to host the 2016 International Engineering Competition, an event managed by the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students (CFES).
“There has been a lot of miscommunication between us and the CFES […] and besides, it was too much for us to take, especially on the financial side of things,” EUS VP External Jean-Louis Shi said. “The whole point of relinquishing the bid is official to say that [the EUS has] no financial obligation [to host the event].”
Shi noted that EUS will be hosting two other CFES activities: The Canadian Engineering Competition and the Conference of Diversity in Engineering; however, the IEC event will still be organized by Mélanie Laroche–Boisvert, who served as a chairperson of the EUS IEC 2016 committee.
“Initially the idea was to say we don’t want to [host IEC] anymore, but Mélanie still wanted to continue,” Shi said.
EUS will be providing free room access for Laroche-Boisvert to organize the next edition of IEC.
SSMU membership fee increase
SSMU executives have been making rounds to faculty councils to advocate for a $5.50 increase in membership fee. On Monday, Houston explained to the EUS that the membership fee has not increased since 2008, and SSMU’s current budget is unsustainable given its rapid growth over the past few years.
“Roughly 30 per cent would go to additional support staff for SSMU, roughly 40 per cent would go to financial stability, and roughly 25 per percent would go to student identified priorities,” Houston said, before elaborating that the fee increase would bring around $240,000 in additional revenue.
EUS President Mariam Hachem questioned Houston on why faculties except for Law, Religious Studies, Dentistry, and Medicine have to pay a higher membership fee. Houston explained that the irregular fee structure is due to historical reasons, and emphasized that no other SSMU fee is structured similarly.
“Personally I am not in favour of the fee structure, and we’re not proposing a proportional increase,” Houston said. “The deputy provost’s office doesn’t allow you to have two questions in one [referendum], so fee restructuring combined with a fee increase, we would get a lot of resistance to that [….] It could take a year to get them to allow us to have two questions at once.”
EUS executive elections
Council members passed a Policy and Bylaw Review Committee (PBRC) bylaw to set up a nominations committee within EUS and approved their electoral calendar for the upcoming month.
“Elections for EUS execs and representatives to SSMU, the nomination period, which we are already in, is from [Jan. 20] to [Feb. 3],” Hachem announced. “The campaigning period will be after, [Feb. 8] to [Feb. 14].
Election debates will be held on Feb. 10 in the EUS Common Room.
The nomination period for Engineering departmental executives will be held from Feb. 22 to Mar. 8, with the campaign period held Mar. 14 to Mar. 20.